Delhi HC seeks response on plea to label products as vegetarian or non-vegetarian

Centre asked to ‘seriously examine’ plea filed by Ram Gaua Raksha Dal

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Central Government to respond to a petition seeking to label all items used by the public, including home appliances and apparel, as “vegetarian” or “non-vegetarian” on the basis of their ingredients and “items used in the manufacturing process”.

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said everyone has the right to know and follow their belief and asked the Centre to “seriously examine” the plea by Ram Gaua Raksha Dal, a trust working towards the welfare of cows.

“There can’t be no denying the fact that every person has the right to know which springs from the right to free speech. The issue raised by the petitioner has a bearing on a person’s right to life in as much as the person is entitled to profess and follow their beliefs,” the Bench said.

‘Genuine cause’

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, said the plea is for a “genuine cause” and that the Government will look into it.

The petitioner, represented by advocate Rajat Aneja, highlighted that there are several items and commodities which are used in “everyday lives” without those professing vegetarianism realising that they are either derived from animals or processed using animal-based products.

Mr. Aneja said bone char or natural carbon is used for polishing or refining white sugar, which is not fit for consumption by people professing vegetarianism. Bone china products and even crayons have ingredients of “animal origin”, he added.

The petition said the information about the use of any “non-vegetarian component” ought to be disclosed and be considered as a factor to declare that product “non-vegetarian”.

The High Court will hear the case again on December 9.

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